Date:Monday October 10 2005
I put a poll up before the end of the season asking if VFC should disband. I actually meant to end it some time back but ..... well, err.... in honesty I forgot!
The options were a straight yes, no and the third was 'yes, at the end of the season'.
The results were 28% yes, 67.8% no and 4.2% at the end of the season.
I do think we are in the end game with reference to Mr Ellis. As an individual (not speaking for VFC or anyone involved) I can see there will be no further need for protests, his age has caught up with him, his health is failing and I know from bitter experience, once you start having major operations, it can severely limit your energy. Anyway, it would be very difficult to protest against an 82 year old who has been so ill, although I would fear for Ellis with the reaction of shareholders if he was still in power come the AGM. The AGM is always a tinder box of pent up frustration and at times boils over into pure hatred, not at all pleasant and not what an old chap who is recovering from a triple by-pass should be putting himself through. He should take an honouree role and enjoy the games from the directors box and remove the stress.
I also believe that people are interested and talking in reference to a takeover and feel that if this isn't done this summer, then what more can fans do? At the end of the day it takes the right people with the right amount of money. The pressure from fans has been pretty constant for years now and the groundswell is still very much in favour of change at our magnificent club. There are certainly those out there who realise the huge potential this club has and there will be no better opportunity to start to realise that potential. The only way a group will make money out of Villa will be to spend money. There is very little that can be 'asset stripped' as the doom mongers warn us. The land that is around Villa Park can be sold, it will eventually get planning permission, although it seems it is more likely the value will be lower than the massive sums mentioned by Doug because most of it is rated commercial rather than residential in potential. We aren't exactly talking Chelsea Village in Aston are we? We certainly don't have world star players that could be sold off for huge profits, we need to bring quality in to fill the ground, that has been obvious for a very long time - well, obvious to most.
So what then? Well, we can but hope and pray that the new group take Villa forward. We have to hope and pray that protests are never needed again, certainly not in our life times anyway. There has been enough negativity and anger, we now all deserve some joy and excitement.
On a personal note I have been baffled at the negativity from a small group of people in reference to VFC. I have no problem with those that are pro Ellis, everyone is entitled to their opinion. There are many who are just anti everything though and want Ellis out but are also anti VFC. Why? A group of fans trying to stand up for their club versus a formidable opponent who - to put it kindly - fibbed his way to a majority power. As a group we have tried to stand up and do something to agitate for change. The rest is down to the board, the shareholders and indeed, potential investors. There are those that warn us 'we could do worse'. Well, fine, maybe that is so. There are those - Doug included - who remind us we aren't Leeds. Ok, no we aren't. But then, we never were. WE ARE THE MIGHTY ASTON VILLA. I'd say 'we could do a whole lot better' and 'we aren't Arsenal'. We once did a lot better and were once much bigger than Arsenal. The longer we stagnate with mediocrity, which is what we have had for far too long, the further away the Arsenals of the world will go and the closer the Charlton's of the world will get to growing equal.
I for one would be very excited at change, not for changes sake, but for the sake of Aston Villa, which is all I have ever cared about. As for 'we could do worse' I'd bet my last pound that in ten years time, Aston Villa will be - once more - an established and consistent top five club and one who can compete with the best. All I want is to go to each game and believe we can compete. That belief, in the past 10 years, has been battered to the point of surrender and many long standing fans and season ticket holders have abandoned the game out of frustration.
We surely deserve some positivity and a chance to compete, don't we?
(And yes, I am aware that some will read this and with great glee attack every word, every comma and every sentiment. Let them, it keeps them happy. I'd rather look at the failings of the board).
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